Letter To The Editor…. Reply

To The Editor:
Recent comments by the Chairman of the Region One Board of Education require a response.
The most glaring misstatement was that the rejection of the four budgets has “nothing to do with education…it is about power.”
That is simply not correct.  The majority of the people opposing the budget because we want change in the current leadership, are teachers, retired teachers, retired principals, retired central office administrators, parents, former HVRHS students, and current HVRHS students.  We would not be getting the voter turnout we are getting if it was only “an angry few.”
All of the above people care about education.  Most of us devoted over half our lives to this school system.  To say we don’t care about education is not correct.  And the students and recent former students care as much as we do.
Region One is in turmoil.  The elementary schools are in as bad a shape as HVRHS.  Teachers are afraid of the future.  My feeling is that 75% of school personnel support our actions.  I talk to them..
We are told by the Region One Board Chairman that the new contracts are firm and cannot be touched.  I disagree.  Those contracts were negotiated by board members who had no idea about the first lawsuit in the Central Office.  I doubt those contracts would stand up under legal scrutiny.
We are told by the Region One Board Chairman that the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent received excellent evaluations.  The evaluation process in the Central Office is a farce.  The Superintendent evaluates the Assistant Superintendent and tells the Board she is doing an excellent job. Does anyone talk to teachers??
The Superintendent’s evaluation process is even more suspect.  Goals are set, the Superintendent tells the Board how she has achieved the goals, and the Board goes along.  Principals and Central Office personnel sing the praises of the Superintendent–what alternative do they have?
Once again, the vast majority of teachers in Region One elementary schools are frightened, frustrated, and fearful of saying anything.  Their teacher union is closely allied with the Central Office administration.  This is an unusual alliance, and is a major reason why the region is in turmoil.
In the past, when it was time for Superintendents to leave, they either knew themselves it was time to go, or were told by the Board it was time.  Neither of these scenarios are being played out now.
Perhaps after November elections, when there will be some new Board members, the situation will change.  By June, 2014, there should be a change in the Region One leadership.  The newly negotiated three year contracts should not be viewed as a barrier.
Ed Epstein

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